‘Food Revolution’: the Future of Eating

January 18, 2013

Today, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are the stuff of dinner table conversation. With more and more people suffering from food allergies to products like gluten (likely due to wheat splicing) and California putting forth legislation that would require GMO labeling (although the measure was defeated, it is likely an indication of legislation to come), the issue of what we’re being served has come front and center of late. But when John Robbins first published ‘The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World’ back in 2001, no one was really talking about the devastating effects that food production was having on our health and the health of the planet. However, the issue has since become impossible to ignore, making this a great time to pick up the audio book version of ‘Food Revolution’ and give it a listen.

While the subject of GMOs is covered in this illuminating look at the foods we eat, Robbins, son of Baskin Robbins cofounder Irv Robbins, takes a comprehensive approach to dissecting the food industry, discussing not only genetic manipulation of plant life and the effect it’s having on human health, but also the ills of farming. Groomed to succeed his late father in running the family’s food company, Robbins instead decided to use his knowledge of the industry to warn the public of the dangers inherent in our current food supply chain and encourage consumers to adopt plant-based diets and opt for organic and locally-sourced foods.

In his estimation, animal-based diets are not only bad for the health of consumers, but also for the planet at large. He draws on several studies to show that the average modern diet, filled with animal products and processed foods, is responsible for the obesity epidemic and related issues like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Further, he delves into the failings of the entire system that brings meat and other animal products to our doorstep, highlighting the sanitation issues that are likely to blame for all manner of common ailments. Like ‘The Jungle’, Upton Sinclair’s scathing diatribe on the meatpacking industry circa 1906, ‘Food Revolution’ will test any listener’s resolve when it comes to pulling meat off the store shelves or ordering it in a restaurant.

Of course, our own health is only part of the problem. In addition to the personal ills caused by the foods we consume these days, the current agricultural system is also upsetting the balance when it comes to the health of the planet. The pollution and waste rampant in growing, raising, processing, and shipping foods is not only poisoning the earth, air, and water, but it also plays a major role in the advancement of global warming. This facet of the issue will likely catch the attention of some, but the truth is that the more riveting aspects of this audio book, those that will hold listeners captive, are the explanations of just what the food we eat is doing to our bodies.

Robbins makes a solid case for adopting a vegan diet, including enjoying better digestive health in the short term and potentially avoiding serious conditions like cancer in the long run. So pack¬†picnic baskets¬†full of local, organic fruits and veggies and bike to a nearby park for lunch this week. And don’t forget to bring along your MP3 player so that you can listen to ‘The Food Revolution’ and learn about a better way to eat in the modern era.

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